Proposed Regulatory Changes for Natural Health Products

Health Canada’s Consulting Canadians on the Regulation of Self-Care Products in Canada outlines a proposal that could significantly change the way natural health products are regulated.

CHFA is proud that Canada is a global leader in regulating NHPs and we want to keep it that way.

On September 8, 2016, Health Canada released Consulting Canadians on the Regulation of Self-Care Products in Canada. This proposal to regulate Natural Health Products (NHPs) such as vitamins, minerals and probiotics, similar to non-prescription drugs, suggested changes that could significantly alter the NHP marketplace in Canada. On behalf of the NHP sector, CHFA reviewed the proposal and had some concerns, that, if passed, these changes could weaken the existing Natural Health Products Regulations, decrease the information found on a product’s label and reduce the oversight that some of these products currently receive. 

CHFA took many steps on behalf of the NHP sector, including writing to the Minister of Health voicing our concerns, responding to the consultation and encouraging NHP companies to participate as well. A review of all additional information shared by the government was assessed and we provided feedback on the content. A good example of this was the ‘myths and facts’ released by Health Canada.  CHFA developed a “Setting the Record Straight on the Self-Care Proposal”, which covered our concerns that the information shared did not clearly explain the impact of the proposal and how it could affect Canadians who rely on NHPs. CHFA also developed an online tool for concerned consumers to use to contact their MP. The tool generates a personalized letter to the MP about the issue.  Since its development, over 33,000 individual letters were sent.

With the consultation now closed, Health Canada has released a “What We Heard” report, which provides a summary of the 3,500 responses they received during the consultation period. Of the responses received, it was estimated that 70% came from concerned consumers like you.

Health Canada has also released dates for further consumer and industry engagement in the form of regional roundtables (opportunities to meet with Health Canada officials locally to discuss self-care products) and webinars. Details on these sessions and registrations links can be found on our website. If you are concerned about the proposed changes, consider attending a session to ask your questions or to become more informed.

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